Disgruntled motorcycle magizine reader - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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Disgruntled motorcycle magizine reader

Recently cancelled my subscription to Cycle World. Find it and most of the similar magazines exist to just regurgitate the information the marketing people from the manufacturers hand them. What irks me is none of these magazines actually investigate or report on real motorcycling issues.

I would love to see a motorcycle magazine tackle some of the issues that you see discussed on forums like this one. For instance do car tires really work on motorcycles or are the people who use them just a bunch of miss informed conspiracy theorists? It would be easy to resolve this issue once and for all. Just equip a couple of identical demo bikes with different tires and have their professional riders run them through some controlled testing. Maybe do the same with engine oils - separate myth from fact on motorcycle/auto oils. Maybe do a gear comparison with abrasion testing. Do a tire comparison. Etc..... I'd pay money for a magazine that did stuff like this, so how come none do?

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 12:29 AM
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I guess they just run out of things to cover and try to expand to something different. I have been reading motorcycle magazines for years and have noticed a change in their content. Example:
Cycle World July 12, Ten Character Bikes That Move Your Soul.
The writers are making good points about their chosen bikes when one of them chooses the new Ducati Diavel carbon. But if you read his article, he spends half the time talking about Irvine CA, and the blades of grass and the FBI crime ratings? Sounds to me like some of the writers are getting bored of writing about motorcycles. Looks like Cycle World needs to make some staff changes.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 01:06 AM
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Motorcyclist is a pretty good rag.


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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 01:10 AM
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 01:53 AM
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I really like Rider. Its not just one big advertisement like some of the others seem to be.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 04:27 AM
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I guess the fact of the matter is virtually all American bike magazines are crap. On the other hand, virtually all British bike magazines are pretty good. And you want to see what magazines are available in France and other European countries. From my perspective, the Yank mags can't really say anything to upset the advertisers whereas I remember BIKE magazine losing all their Honda advertising because they slagged off the GoldWing back in the 70's for two years.

Oh, and car tyres on a bike shouldn't really happen, but I know it does and I honestly couldn't see a bike mag doing a comparison because if someone is stupid enough to put a car tyre on a bike, they probably can't read anyway.

Good luck exploring the infinite abyss
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 06:22 AM
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Motorcycle Consumer News is probably the best American motorcycle rag. They are 100% subscriber supported and there are no ads in their magazine. You pay for this, however, as even the discounted subscription(regular subscription is $44.00/yr) is quite a bit higher than other American magazines.

I do think MCN covers issues of concern to riders. Recently, they have compared and rated waterproof gloves, heated grips and waterproof boots. They've had articles on what gear to take when camping, carpal tunnel syndrome, reprogramming fuel injection, EFI troubleshooting, and even had a helmet cam shootout.

Their regular columns on proficient motorcycling, medical motorcycling and mental motorcycling you probably won't find anywhere else.

One feature I really like is their Innovation Of The Month. It's always on the back cover and, as the title implies, features some really neat proucts of interest to motorcyclists. Some products they have featured include: Denali LED Off-Road Driving Lights, Motion Pro Mini Bleeder, Motorcycle Gadgets Moto Hanger, e-Tint Visor, TREYSIT Sirometer, Aereostich e-Fill Siphon and Kaizen Motosports Sparkplug Indexing Washers.

Add to the above their motorcycle reviews, that are as objective as you'll find anywhere, and I think MCN provides good value, even taking into account the higher price.


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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 08:00 AM
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I agree that the U.S. magazines are a little light on content. My favorite (by far) is Bike magazine from the U.K. I can't wait for it to show up in the mailbox each month. Great, in-depth content.
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 08:44 AM
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sad to say, it's not just the bike magazines that are like this, even the car mags are the same, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Automobile, thye have a love affair with certain brand/models and can say no wrong about them and make excuses for various road tests. I will say that I'm glad the 4WD magazines haven't stooped to this level, yet.

I think a portion of it is laziness and a lack of complaints from readers. Years ago, when Tread Lightly was first becoming a big thing, some of the 4WD mags were still running articles showing people doing exactly what Tread Lightly was against, while at the same time promoting Tread Lightly. It took a few thousand complaints from readers (they published some) and they got the hint and started paying attention to pics that they were printing and articles as well.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 01:46 PM
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Rider did an article on the car tire thing a couple of months ago. Big surprise, they couldn't condone the practice.

IMO the best magazine by a mile is Cycle Canada, and I'm not just saying that because I'm Canadian. The writers have personality, they're opinionated. They sometimes struggle to say nice things about Harleys and other cruisers, but they always manage to find a few positives. They take their lumps too as every month there's a letter or two from people who were offended by something or other, and who threaten to cancel their subscriptions. They're very witty guys too. "Try it, you'll like it."
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glazwegian View Post
Motorcycle Consumer News is probably the best American motorcycle rag. They are 100% subscriber supported and there are no ads in their magazine. You pay for this, however, as even the discounted subscription(regular subscription is $44.00/yr) is quite a bit higher than other American magazines.

I do think MCN covers issues of concern to riders. Recently, they have compared and rated waterproof gloves, heated grips and waterproof boots. They've had articles on what gear to take when camping, carpal tunnel syndrome, reprogramming fuel injection, EFI troubleshooting, and even had a helmet cam shootout.

Their regular columns on proficient motorcycling, medical motorcycling and mental motorcycling you probably won't find anywhere else.

One feature I really like is their Innovation Of The Month. It's always on the back cover and, as the title implies, features some really neat proucts of interest to motorcyclists. Some products they have featured include: Denali LED Off-Road Driving Lights, Motion Pro Mini Bleeder, Motorcycle Gadgets Moto Hanger, e-Tint Visor, TREYSIT Sirometer, Aereostich e-Fill Siphon and Kaizen Motosports Sparkplug Indexing Washers.

Add to the above their motorcycle reviews, that are as objective as you'll find anywhere, and I think MCN provides good value, even taking into account the higher price.
+1 for Motorcycle Consumer News. It's Consumer Reports for two wheels although the MCN guys actually have feelings and souls.

They're the least afraid to step on toes and regularly offer comparisons (bikes, gear, accessories) that are actually useful to us everyday riders. Regular columns are also worthwhile and pertinent. And, perhaps most importantly, their bike tests are detailed, almost entirely unbiased and actually meaningful. There are enough detailed descriptions and statistics to satisfy a rabid baseball fan! That's a compliment for MCN.

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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 07:40 PM
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I also believe that most of the writers would become numb to having ridden high performance and expensive motorcycles, just to turn around a review lower cost models. Imagine riding and flogging a $25,000 bike just to turn around and review a $8,000 one. It would be like driving an Aston Martin and switching to a Toyota Camry which is a good car, but not an Aston Martin. I do agree with DavyF that the British magazines are way better with tons of bike coverage that most of the U.S magazines just don't do.
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 09:46 PM
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Another vote for US Motorcycle Consumer News. http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/

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Last edited by Tigerpawed; 09-16-2012 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Edit typo: It's NOT Motorcycle COMPUTER News. That would be a VERY geeky magazine, although *I* would find it interesting!
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 09:53 PM
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I like Rider because they have a tradition of publishing the work of freelance writers. Like me.

I tour on a bike and Rider offers multiple touring articles each month. Real people on real bikes riding to real places and having real experiences. No brand snootiness, plenty of geographic variety, a chance to read about where other folks go.


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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 11:15 PM
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-15-2012, 11:38 PM
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I've been a roadrunner subscriber for two years. They are a travel magazine very good in that. Pretty light in everything else.

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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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I have to say I really liked the one issue of Bike magazine I read. It had a great in depth article on suspension technology and tuning that did not skip on the technical explanations or depth of coverage. Not something you would ever see in a US magazine. Only issue it is pretty pricy here.

I agree Cycle Canada has some entertaining writing but also gives the impression of being a really low budget operation. The cover story in one recent issue was a comparison of the writers' own bikes (old BMW RT vs older Triumph Tiger vs old Ducati sport bike vs WeeStrom).

Last edited by Sprocket; 09-16-2012 at 02:52 AM.
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 02:40 PM
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[QUOTE=Sprocket;216115...I agree Cycle Canada has some entertaining writing but also gives the impression of being a really low budget operation. The cover story in one recent issue was a comparison of the writers' own bikes (old BMW RT vs older Triumph Tiger vs old Ducati sport bike vs WeeStrom). [/QUOTE]

I, personally, find Neal Graham to be a little "grating". He seems to write MOST stories from the "...I'm exceptional... and you're NOT!" point of view.

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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
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Another vote for US Motorcycle Computer News. http://www.mcnews.com/mcn/
*Consumer
And yet another +1 for US MCN

I don't trust the other magazines because they are controlled by and dictated to by their advertisers. Example? Cycle Gear shops and their BiLT line of gear has been around for quite a while...yet they were ignored and the mags NEVER tested any of the BiLT stuff...EVER. Recently (basically the past year or so), they have begun doing write-ups/reviews of the BiLT line. The change? Cycle Gear started running full page ads in the magazines.... Coincidence? LOL

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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 09-16-2012, 06:41 PM
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I sent WebBikeWorld an email suggesting they test the Olympia XMoto gear about a year or so ago as I was in the market for pants and was considering them. They sent me a response saying they were no longer testing Olympia gear and would not be in the future. Did not explain why.

They're (Their) site seems to provide lots of positive coverage of Rev'It gear though and highlight every Rev'It product that comes along. Lots of Revzilla advertising on their site too - coincidence?

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